For 2010, personal exemptions and standard deductions will change only slightly to reflect inflation adjustments. Many levels will remain consistent with 2009.
By law, the dollar amounts for a variety of tax provisions must be revised each year to keep pace with inflation. As a result of little inflation, there will be no significant changes for 2010. The following is a brief review of some of the key levels effecting 2010 returns, filed by most taxpayers in early 2011, include the following:
- The value of each personal and dependency exemption, available to most taxpayers, will remain at the same level of $3,650, no change from 2009.
- The new standard deduction is $11,400 for married couples filing a joint return in 2010 (no change from 2009), and $5,700 for singles and married individuals filing separately (again, no change from 2009. The Head of Household standard deduction increased slightly to $8,400 for heads of household (up from $8,350 in 2009). Nearly two out of three taxpayers take the standard deduction, rather than itemizing deductions, such as mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes.
- Tax-bracket thresholds increase slightly for each filing status. For a married couple filing a joint return, for example, the taxable-income threshold separating the 15-percent bracket from the 25-percent bracket is $68,000, up from $67,900 in 2009.
- The maximum earned income tax credit for low and moderate income workers and working families with two or more children is $5,028, up from $4,824. The income limit for the credit for joint return filers with two or more children is $43,415, up from $41,646.
- The annual gift exclusion will remain at $13,000, same as 2009.